Voles are rodents that can do a lot of damage to your garden. How do you recognize voles? How do you get rid of them from your garden?
A few words about garden voles
The garden vole is one of the smallest rodents. It looks like a mouse, but differs in colouring. The vole is reddish-brown in colour. The animal is about 10 cm in size and weighs about 20 g. Such a little one can do a lot of damage in the garden. The vole is a nocturnal animal – it starts feeding in the evening and continues throughout the night. It forages within a 1,600m2 radius of its nest. This rodent is excellent at jumping and climbing fruit trees, from which it gnaws the bark
Why are voles a pest?
The voles mainly feed on plants, insects and their larvae, seeds and plant shoots. In autumn and winter it feeds on fruits, seeds and aboveground plant parts. If it lacks food, it feeds on the bark of trees.
How can you tell if there are voles in your garden?
You can recognize voles in the garden by the round holes that are on the ground. Unlike moles, voles do not dig holes and their tunnels are shallow in the ground.
Natural control of voles
A natural way to deter voles is to let your dog or cat out on the plot – voles are very skittish animals. If there are pets on the plot, there are usually no voles on the plot.
Another natural way to control voles is to put garlic or crushed lilac leaves in the tunnel. This will help the voles move out of the garden very quickly.
The last eco-friendly way to deter voles is sound. Simply mount a metal can on a metal stick and place it near the vole. When the wind moves the can, the vole will get spooked and run away.
You can buy traps to catch voles in garden stores. This solution is a very ecological and humane way to get rid of rodents from your garden. All you have to do is install the trap in one of the vole tunnels and wait for the rodent to enter and be caught. Check the trap regularly and release the vole as far away from the property as possible.
Chemical ways to control voles
If the natural ways do not have the desired effect, then you need to turn to chemicals. An appropriate amount of liquid or poison should be introduced into the tunnel. Another way is to treat flower bulbs before planting them. This will prevent them from becoming a delicacy for voles.
Another chemical way to control voles is to gas them using smoke candles. Gassing should only be done in open areas, at least 5 m away from trees and buildings. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when gassing. This method is only effective for single rodent outbreaks
>> See also: How do I get rid of rodents in my garden?
How do I protect plants against voles?
Although voles are rare in gardens, there is a way to prevent them from appearing at all. All you need to do is plant bulbous plants in suitable baskets (plastic or metal). This will prevent voles from eating the bulbs. If voles are gnawing on trees, it is a good idea to surround their roots with netting.
Voles do not like certain smells, so a great solution is to plant ornamental garlic in beds with bulbous plants. The rodents do not tolerate shrubs such as black currant, wolfsbane and mint.
A PVC net with a mesh no larger than 10 cm can help protect your garden against voles. By placing it in the ground under the fence, the rodents will not be able to get into the property.